Monday, January 30, 2012

Eggless Chocolate & Bottle Gourd Cake

The first month of this year has flown by so quickly and as I do every year, this year too I exclaim "Wow! Wasn't it the 1st of Jan just the other day?" How many of you are thinking on the same lines as me? Well, it's time to get into a retrospective mood and see if we've really achieved anything that we set out to achieve. Anyway, whether or not we've done things we should have we must applaud ourselves for the small goals we have achieved. So here's a really simple, delicious and healthy (almost!) cake for you!


When I came across this recipe in Raji's blog - Vegetarian Tastebuds my eyes were glued on that one picture which made me drool. Literally! I have a weakness for chocolate cakes even though I can't go beyond a couple of bites or a slice at the most. And owing to the fact that I have a fussy toddler (who's getting better) and his tastebuds to deal with, I am on the prowl for cake recipes which have some way of sneaking in otherwise unpalatable veggies - Bottle Gourd included! So I was actually pretty amazed and amused that someone had actually thought of sneaking this humble veggie into it. True to what Raji said, nobody could guess that this cake had a vegetable in it - my son and my friend's kids happily ate it bite after bite thoroughly enjoying the moist cake with a deliciously thick sauce dribbling from all sides. My friend warns me never to disclose the secret to her kids and send the same cake every month!


What I loved about this cake is that it can be made with simple (and cheap!) ingredients without any fuss - all you need to do is sift the dry ingredients once and then 'dump' them along with the wet ingredients,  combine well & then bake it. The best part is that it adheres to a vegetarian or vegan's diet. Veganism is a practice that abstains from the use of animal products and includes foods such as eggs, meat (and all animal-derived products), dairy milk (and all its by products) & honey. Even the sauce/ganache does not require you to buy expensive bars of chocolate and then go through the drill of having to melt it in a double boiler and such. 

My only regret is that I made this pretty late in the evening, when the sun was about to set and ended up with a whole bunch of blurry pictures. I have selected the best ones for you. Couldn't help decking up the cake with strawberries that are so much in season and in abundance here in Mumbai. I hope it doesn't mislead you into thinking that it's strawberry cake or something like that. But then you see, deception is the whole idea here ;-)

P.S: This cake is especially for Usha D'Silva-Rego who requested me for recipes of easy to make cakes with veggies sneaked in them and which made no use of butter. Don't we all love cakes made with oil?


Eggless Chocolate & Bottle Gourd Cake
Recipe Source: Vegetarian Tastebuds
Preparation time: 15mins | Baking time: 30-35mins
Yield: One 7" cake | 8 servings

You Need:
  • 1 cup (125gm) all purpose flour (maida)
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hintz dark cocoa) * see notes
  • 1/2 cup+2 tbsp powdered sugar *see notes
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup odourless oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (diluted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 3/4 cup (approx) water
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd (dhoodhi or lauki in Hindi/sorekai in kannada/boblein in Konkani)
For the chocolate sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm dairy milk or soy milk 
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
Method:
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C for 10-15mins.
2. Grease a 7" round cake tin with oil and line it with parchment paper - or just grease it well & dust it with flour. Keep aside. 
3. Sift all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda & coffee powder together in a large bowl
4. Make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients - oil, vinegar, vanilla & water. Mix well.
5. Squeeze out excess water from the bottle gourd and add to the mixture and combine. Pour the contents into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35mins or till the skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10-15 after which you can gently invert it onto a wire rack and leave it uncovered to cool completely.
7. Serve as it is with a cup of tea or served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Or slather with sauce and enjoy!

For the chocolate sauce
In a saucepan combine all the ingredients and whisk so remove lumps if any. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to avoid burning at the base. Boil for a couple of minutes till the mixture appears to thicken. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. 

Pour the sauce over the cake and spread using a spatula. Cover sides too. Decorate as desired and serve


Notes:
For the cake, increase the sugar with upto 3/4th cup if you are using dark unsweetened (Dutch processed) cocoa like Hintz. My cake turned out a wee bit bitter. If you are using regular unsweetened cocoa like Cadbury's in India, the above mentioned quantities are just fine



36 comments:

  1. Shireen, you amaze me!!!! How I wish I could grab a bite into that moist cake!! It's been long since I baked one. Your pictures are soooo good, I need to learn food photography from you..:-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very innovative. Looks so moist..wanna have a slice now :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. could have never believed that cakes could be baked with lauki. the cake looks extremely moist and soft. love the texture and the clicks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. just drool..drool...looks oh so yummy and chocolatey..

    ReplyDelete
  5. i know sneaking in veggies to the cake is indeed fun ! was drooling when I had seen this cake @ raji's space and now your pics are seriously killing me shireen ! BTW, there is a giveaway in my blog- do check it out !

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wat an elegant,super moist and stunning cake..

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ May: Thanks a ton..oh no! I need to learn from u..seriously..with food I just experiment..these pics came out good unexpectedly!
    Thanks Priyanka, Sayantani, Ramya, Priya Suresh!!

    Thanks Priya Sreeram..yes, its a gorgeous cake which caught my attention at Raji's space!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wish I was there just to indulge myself in this amazing looking cake. Simply marvelous looking cake!

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOW!! super moist cake with bottle gourd. Drooling,,,,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
  10. Uff !! absolutely sinful ... i am surely going to try this one .. great work Shireen ..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great work Shireen..your cake with strawberries on top is looking more lovely than mine. I am glad that you tried this and thanks for sending it to my event. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow, superb cake, bottlegourd in a cake is so interesting..great job dear :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very innovative .....incorporating bottle gourd in a cake is ingenious......Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. yum!divine looking cake.....great snaps...and a veggi filled healthy cake..what could be better.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous looking cake. am drooling here...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yummy in the tummy!!!
    i just cant wait to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Delicious and tasty cake. Love all the chocolate cakes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Superb Chocolate cake..i can jus dive into it..

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tried this recipe- was out of all purpose flour, so substituted a mix of corn flour and whole wheat flour. Cake still turned out yummy! Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow Sreelatha! Thanks for letting me know! So glad that the cake came out good. Innovation is key!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Shireen,

    Tried this cake. It was heavenly. Simply Superb. I invited my Child's friends over to relish this cake. All the kids loved it.Thank you for this recipe. By the way, I am Usha D'Silva-Rego's TwinSis.:)


    Rgds,

    Asha Reddy

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds fantastic Asha!! So glad to hear that the cake was a hit with your kid & her friends!! Hope u liked it too, isnt it great when mums can make a cake a wee bit healthier than it is otherwise? Next time you can try replacing part of the maida with atta..Nice to 'meet' u by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Been a regular visitor here. You have a collection of wonderful recipes and I have tried some, all have been success. Planning to make this cake soon. Can you tell me if the white vinegar can be omitted in this recipe?. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks so much Shuba! You can substitute white vinegar with freshly squeezed lime juice - i haven't tried it, but I guess it should work, all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey Shireen, I made this cake sans the chocolate sauce. Simply decorated with stencils and powdered sugar. Thank you so much for sharing. Here's link to my post. Please check when you find time.

    http://amchi-bong-konnexion.blogspot.in/2012/02/eggless-bottlegourd-chocolate-cake-for.html

    Regards,
    Seema

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey, can you post the nutritional information per piece? it would be a great help!

    ReplyDelete
  27. @ Anonymous: Thanks for your feedback, but unfortunately unless I am a qualified nutritionist (which I am not), I don't think I will be able to provide nutritional information per piece. I can randomly pick up stuff from the net but I don't think that would be fair on the readers who would follow my advice :) However, i do provide the general health benefits about ingredients I use which are majorly based on the information I get on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ohh wow .. its just a lethal combo .. Chocolate with Bottle Guard .. simply amazing !!

    Truely glad to be your new follower.. Would hop over for more recipes :)

    Love
    Nupur
    UK Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  29. Olive which u use...is it olive oil meant for indian cooking or salad oil??

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lovely receipe....will be trying it very soon. Just a small query...the olive oil which u used ...is it the one meant for indian cooking or salad oil?? u get these two different oils in the market.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks so much Silpa! I used olive oil that is suitable for baking..the one used for salads is extra virgin and should not be used for any other purpose apart from salad dressing

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shireen, this recipe is amazing. I could not believe how moist the cake was. My family loved it, and could not believe there was the vegetable (not exactly a favourite) as the secret ingredient. I wish I got a picture before it was eaten.
    Thanks a lot !!! good way to add veggies secretly.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @ Ven: Thanks a lot for your feedback! Glad to know that you and your family enjoyed it :) Yes, the presence of the vegetable is really hard to guess :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Is the veggie necessary in order to make the cake?

    ReplyDelete
  35. @ Cloudsnkm: This cake is made with bottlegourd...you can check my other cake recipes if you wish to make a cake without veggies

    http://www.ruchikrandhap.com/2009/05/recipe-index-cakes-bakes.html

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eggless Chocolate & Bottle Gourd Cake

The first month of this year has flown by so quickly and as I do every year, this year too I exclaim "Wow! Wasn't it the 1st of Jan just the other day?" How many of you are thinking on the same lines as me? Well, it's time to get into a retrospective mood and see if we've really achieved anything that we set out to achieve. Anyway, whether or not we've done things we should have we must applaud ourselves for the small goals we have achieved. So here's a really simple, delicious and healthy (almost!) cake for you!


When I came across this recipe in Raji's blog - Vegetarian Tastebuds my eyes were glued on that one picture which made me drool. Literally! I have a weakness for chocolate cakes even though I can't go beyond a couple of bites or a slice at the most. And owing to the fact that I have a fussy toddler (who's getting better) and his tastebuds to deal with, I am on the prowl for cake recipes which have some way of sneaking in otherwise unpalatable veggies - Bottle Gourd included! So I was actually pretty amazed and amused that someone had actually thought of sneaking this humble veggie into it. True to what Raji said, nobody could guess that this cake had a vegetable in it - my son and my friend's kids happily ate it bite after bite thoroughly enjoying the moist cake with a deliciously thick sauce dribbling from all sides. My friend warns me never to disclose the secret to her kids and send the same cake every month!


What I loved about this cake is that it can be made with simple (and cheap!) ingredients without any fuss - all you need to do is sift the dry ingredients once and then 'dump' them along with the wet ingredients,  combine well & then bake it. The best part is that it adheres to a vegetarian or vegan's diet. Veganism is a practice that abstains from the use of animal products and includes foods such as eggs, meat (and all animal-derived products), dairy milk (and all its by products) & honey. Even the sauce/ganache does not require you to buy expensive bars of chocolate and then go through the drill of having to melt it in a double boiler and such. 

My only regret is that I made this pretty late in the evening, when the sun was about to set and ended up with a whole bunch of blurry pictures. I have selected the best ones for you. Couldn't help decking up the cake with strawberries that are so much in season and in abundance here in Mumbai. I hope it doesn't mislead you into thinking that it's strawberry cake or something like that. But then you see, deception is the whole idea here ;-)

P.S: This cake is especially for Usha D'Silva-Rego who requested me for recipes of easy to make cakes with veggies sneaked in them and which made no use of butter. Don't we all love cakes made with oil?


Eggless Chocolate & Bottle Gourd Cake
Recipe Source: Vegetarian Tastebuds
Preparation time: 15mins | Baking time: 30-35mins
Yield: One 7" cake | 8 servings

You Need:
  • 1 cup (125gm) all purpose flour (maida)
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hintz dark cocoa) * see notes
  • 1/2 cup+2 tbsp powdered sugar *see notes
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1/8th tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup odourless oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (diluted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
  • 3/4 cup (approx) water
  • 1 cup grated bottle gourd (dhoodhi or lauki in Hindi/sorekai in kannada/boblein in Konkani)
For the chocolate sauce:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm dairy milk or soy milk 
  • 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp maida/all purpose flour
Method:
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C for 10-15mins.
2. Grease a 7" round cake tin with oil and line it with parchment paper - or just grease it well & dust it with flour. Keep aside. 
3. Sift all the dry ingredients - flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda & coffee powder together in a large bowl
4. Make a small well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients - oil, vinegar, vanilla & water. Mix well.
5. Squeeze out excess water from the bottle gourd and add to the mixture and combine. Pour the contents into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35mins or till the skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 10-15 after which you can gently invert it onto a wire rack and leave it uncovered to cool completely.
7. Serve as it is with a cup of tea or served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Or slather with sauce and enjoy!

For the chocolate sauce
In a saucepan combine all the ingredients and whisk so remove lumps if any. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir to avoid burning at the base. Boil for a couple of minutes till the mixture appears to thicken. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken as it cools. 

Pour the sauce over the cake and spread using a spatula. Cover sides too. Decorate as desired and serve


Notes:
For the cake, increase the sugar with upto 3/4th cup if you are using dark unsweetened (Dutch processed) cocoa like Hintz. My cake turned out a wee bit bitter. If you are using regular unsweetened cocoa like Cadbury's in India, the above mentioned quantities are just fine



36 comments:

  1. Shireen, you amaze me!!!! How I wish I could grab a bite into that moist cake!! It's been long since I baked one. Your pictures are soooo good, I need to learn food photography from you..:-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very innovative. Looks so moist..wanna have a slice now :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. could have never believed that cakes could be baked with lauki. the cake looks extremely moist and soft. love the texture and the clicks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. just drool..drool...looks oh so yummy and chocolatey..

    ReplyDelete
  5. i know sneaking in veggies to the cake is indeed fun ! was drooling when I had seen this cake @ raji's space and now your pics are seriously killing me shireen ! BTW, there is a giveaway in my blog- do check it out !

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wat an elegant,super moist and stunning cake..

    ReplyDelete
  7. @ May: Thanks a ton..oh no! I need to learn from u..seriously..with food I just experiment..these pics came out good unexpectedly!
    Thanks Priyanka, Sayantani, Ramya, Priya Suresh!!

    Thanks Priya Sreeram..yes, its a gorgeous cake which caught my attention at Raji's space!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wish I was there just to indulge myself in this amazing looking cake. Simply marvelous looking cake!

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  9. WOW!! super moist cake with bottle gourd. Drooling,,,,,,,,

    ReplyDelete
  10. Uff !! absolutely sinful ... i am surely going to try this one .. great work Shireen ..

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great work Shireen..your cake with strawberries on top is looking more lovely than mine. I am glad that you tried this and thanks for sending it to my event. Hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  12. wow, superb cake, bottlegourd in a cake is so interesting..great job dear :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very innovative .....incorporating bottle gourd in a cake is ingenious......Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. yum!divine looking cake.....great snaps...and a veggi filled healthy cake..what could be better.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous looking cake. am drooling here...

    ReplyDelete
  16. Yummy in the tummy!!!
    i just cant wait to try it out.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Delicious and tasty cake. Love all the chocolate cakes.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Superb Chocolate cake..i can jus dive into it..

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tried this recipe- was out of all purpose flour, so substituted a mix of corn flour and whole wheat flour. Cake still turned out yummy! Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow Sreelatha! Thanks for letting me know! So glad that the cake came out good. Innovation is key!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Shireen,

    Tried this cake. It was heavenly. Simply Superb. I invited my Child's friends over to relish this cake. All the kids loved it.Thank you for this recipe. By the way, I am Usha D'Silva-Rego's TwinSis.:)


    Rgds,

    Asha Reddy

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sounds fantastic Asha!! So glad to hear that the cake was a hit with your kid & her friends!! Hope u liked it too, isnt it great when mums can make a cake a wee bit healthier than it is otherwise? Next time you can try replacing part of the maida with atta..Nice to 'meet' u by the way :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Been a regular visitor here. You have a collection of wonderful recipes and I have tried some, all have been success. Planning to make this cake soon. Can you tell me if the white vinegar can be omitted in this recipe?. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks so much Shuba! You can substitute white vinegar with freshly squeezed lime juice - i haven't tried it, but I guess it should work, all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey Shireen, I made this cake sans the chocolate sauce. Simply decorated with stencils and powdered sugar. Thank you so much for sharing. Here's link to my post. Please check when you find time.

    http://amchi-bong-konnexion.blogspot.in/2012/02/eggless-bottlegourd-chocolate-cake-for.html

    Regards,
    Seema

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey, can you post the nutritional information per piece? it would be a great help!

    ReplyDelete
  27. @ Anonymous: Thanks for your feedback, but unfortunately unless I am a qualified nutritionist (which I am not), I don't think I will be able to provide nutritional information per piece. I can randomly pick up stuff from the net but I don't think that would be fair on the readers who would follow my advice :) However, i do provide the general health benefits about ingredients I use which are majorly based on the information I get on the internet.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Ohh wow .. its just a lethal combo .. Chocolate with Bottle Guard .. simply amazing !!

    Truely glad to be your new follower.. Would hop over for more recipes :)

    Love
    Nupur
    UK Rasoi

    ReplyDelete
  29. Olive which u use...is it olive oil meant for indian cooking or salad oil??

    ReplyDelete
  30. Lovely receipe....will be trying it very soon. Just a small query...the olive oil which u used ...is it the one meant for indian cooking or salad oil?? u get these two different oils in the market.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks so much Silpa! I used olive oil that is suitable for baking..the one used for salads is extra virgin and should not be used for any other purpose apart from salad dressing

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shireen, this recipe is amazing. I could not believe how moist the cake was. My family loved it, and could not believe there was the vegetable (not exactly a favourite) as the secret ingredient. I wish I got a picture before it was eaten.
    Thanks a lot !!! good way to add veggies secretly.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @ Ven: Thanks a lot for your feedback! Glad to know that you and your family enjoyed it :) Yes, the presence of the vegetable is really hard to guess :)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Is the veggie necessary in order to make the cake?

    ReplyDelete
  35. @ Cloudsnkm: This cake is made with bottlegourd...you can check my other cake recipes if you wish to make a cake without veggies

    http://www.ruchikrandhap.com/2009/05/recipe-index-cakes-bakes.html

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)